Do you know what some of most commonly asked questions are? Genre questions. Either asking us what genre a certain book or series is in, or what exactly is that genre. After spending so much time immersed in the world of romance, it has become second nature to instantly catergorise books into their respective genre, or sub-genre. Just a glance at the blurb, or even just the cover then I can tell you what genre it will be. Of course, not everything is black and white and not every book is so easy to label, but a majority are.
We have previously done a very concise guide about genres giving an overview of each, but we decided to take each genre and do a more general and indepth guide. In this, we will tell you the definition of the genre, what types of characters you may expect to see, popular troupes within a genre, some of our favourite authors and series within this genre. And anything else we can think of! By the end of the guide you should be able to tell what book is what and have a few recommendations to pick up.
In this fourth chapter will be…
First of all, I don’t want you all to twist your tongue trying to pronounce LGBT, which, if you try and say as a word, just ends up sounding like you have something stuck in your throat. As many know, but some may not, LGBT is an acronym. For the sake of this definition, I am going to add another letter to this: LGBTQ. And it stands for:
Queer (or questioning their sexual identity)
Now, I could probably do a post on each of the letters in the acronym all by itself, sexual identity and gender identity are massive issues, so, please, remember this is a very general guide that is focusing in on what’s available and popular in the romance genre.
A LGBT romance can be defined as a romance where the main couple are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Most of the books in the LGBT genre consist of same sex couples, so F/F or M/M. However, although LG books do dominate the genre, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t some BT books out there as well. These romances will feature transgender characters and those who are bisexual, you may even find books with those who characterise themselves as asexual, in which case, this would also fit under the LGBTQ romance banner.
Now, lets talking about settings. There are so many subgenres of LGBT romance. You may have a M/M romance where the characters are still at college, in which case you have a New Adult LGBT romance on your hands. Or maybe you have a F/F romance set in Victorian London, in which you’re reading a Historical LGBT romance. OR you could have a transgender character who happens to shift into a wolf and…you guessed it, you have Paranormal LGBT romance.
I’ve been raking my brain trying to think of an exception and I could only thing of one thing: The Bisexual Paradox. You may have a character that switch hits, now, I’m going to use two examples, lets call one of these characters John and the other Joan. Now, Joan, she’s bisexual, she’s sampled both sides, but than she meets THE ONE. The one happens to be a dude. The chances are, you won’t find Joan’s book in the LGBT section, even though she’s bisexual, because for her HEA she’s decided to settle down with a man. Now, lets move on to John. John, he’s had both men and woman, but WHAM! he bumps into the other half of his soul one day. The other half of his soul happens to be a man. With John’s romance, the chances are you will find this in the LGBT section, and even more likely it will be classed as an M/M romance.
Popular troupes and themes
As with all genres, there are troupes, certain types of storylines that people gravitate towards. Here are our favourites:
Out For You
As the title suggests, this trope explores the blooming feelings of a confused character who isn’t normally attracted to someone of their same sex, but for some unknown reason this wonderful person makes their heart flutter. They may have thought they were straight for their entire life, but harbour feelings for only this particular person of the same sex. Also, it is entirely possible this person was bisexual or had bisexual tendencies, but they didn’t realise it until they met that one HEA of the same sex.
Coming out of the Closet
Despite it being 2017, there is still a lot of judgement when it comes to those who identify as LGBT. As a result, some people aren’t comfortable about revealing themselves. These books will explore those repressed feelings and frustrations as they find the courage to be who they truly are. Only then will they get their HEA. Cue the awwwwwws!
A popular trope within the M/M arena is that of an older and younger man becoming a couple. There is a lot of attraction in finding that special silver fox for a significant other.
Friends and Enemies
Popular in both heterosexual fiction as well as LGBT fiction is that of friends and enemies. It’s amazing to see the transformation of two people who almost despise each other or annoy the hell out of each other start to soften and develop feelings for that person they never thought they would EVER fall in love with. Through this transformation, authors can make a reader start by absolutely detesting one of their characters, but as the other main character starts to fall for him/her, so does the reader and then there is no other couple that the reader would want together.
Friends to Lovers
Again, equally as popular in fiction for straight characters, a favourite of the LGBT community is the friends to lovers trope. Seeing two characters begin as friends–sometimes even as early as childhood–and then grow and blossom and realise that their care and love for each other goes beyond that of friends is such a beautiful story. Watching them come out together and for each other and making their new relationship work despite the odds is just heart melting.
UTC Required Reading List
At UTC, we believe that love is love and therefore, we don’t discriminate between gender. LGBT Romance is just as passionate as traditional Romance and it offers so much variety. Don’t be fooled by some of the cheesy covers out there. Some of my all-time favourite couples are actually M/M Romance couples.
Here are our favourites, when this is a series we love, we have just added the first book to give you a starting point.